Category Archives:
Middle East

The Israeli right can’t condemn Charlottesville because its whispered policy is, Nakba

Yossi Gurvitz on

When Nakba of Palestinians is your muttered policy– when you realize you may have to carry out another ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli right believes– it’s silly to moan about Nazis somewhere else. After all, you’re holding a very similar policy, and they’re likely to be your only allies. Yossi Gurvitz explains Netanyahu’s silence about Charlottesville.

Why I am leaving Israel

Ronit Dison on

Israeli-American Ronit Dinson makes the decision to leave Tel Aviv and return to the U.S., “Am I coward for saying “khalas” (Arabic for “enough”), I want out of here?  Or, are there just too many avenues that have dead-ended here in Israel?  I want the same thing that all Israeli Jews, Arabs, and asylum seekers want, to live in peace with my family and for my future children to have equal opportunities.  I don’t see this happening here in Israel unless the apartheid structure finally ends and all people have equal rights, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion.”

American Jews have a right to resist Israel as Jews

Jonathan Ofir on

Yossi Gurvitz wrote that when American Jews seek to influence Israel as Jews they are reinforcing the illiberal ethnocratic nature of the state. Jonathan Ofir disagrees and says it is possible to engage with Israel as both Jewish and a liberal.

The deep, and endless, occupation

Zeina Azzam on

A play in Washington based on the testimonies of Israeli soldiers in the peace group Breaking the Silence demonstrates that the occupation is now a permanent feature of Israeli society. Israel now claims not to be an occupier; and world governments often support it, because there is a Palestine Exception to international law. But a peaceful resolution will not occur till Israel dismantles this oppressive regime, argues Zeina Azzam.

Zionism is apartheid, and worse

Jonathan Ofir on

Many have appraised Israel’s 1967 occupation as ‘Apartheid’. But it goes beyond 1967, and beyond Apartheid, to genocidal actions over 7 decades of the state’s existence. The actions are so egregious that many can hardly fathom them, and so they recoil to an apologetics that amounts to: “Don’t exaggerate.”

On Tisha B’Av, we must mourn our complicity

Marc H. Ellis on

Marc Ellis writes, “Tisha B’Av is upon us, a fast day for Jews, commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem. With the accumulation of events of destruction in Jewish history, though, Tisha B’Av has become a time to mourn subsequent calamities that befell the Jewish people. Through most of our history, mourning occurred in a context where most Jews lived on the margins of power or suffered under it. Today Jewish mourning takes place within the context of Jewish empowerment. Like mourning, Jewish empowerment is complex and entangled. Still, one things is abundantly clear: Jewish power, enabled by our mourning on Tisha B’Av, is oppressing the Palestinian people.”

Jew and Israeli: Solomon Schechter and Shlomo Sand

Abba Solomon on

American educator Solomon Schecter accepted Zionism as a bulwark against Jewish assimilation in the west. The twin menaces were acceptance of Jews and hostility toward them. Zionism still serves this purpose. The Israeli State ensures that its Jewish citizens are “safely hated.”

Rabbi Rosen’s final mourning

Marc H. Ellis on

With Tisha B’Av upon us, Rabbi Brant Rosen has released his contemporary take on the Biblical Book of Lamentations – Lamentation for a New Diaspora. Marc Ellis writes, “Rabbi Rosen’s lamentation is poetic, strong and dark. Trauma is the global name of the game. The ravages of mass culture, industrialization, militarism and climate change have taken their toll. The New Diaspora, the community of refugees and exiles of every stripe who gather to protest the coming global catastrophe, are themselves scattered and without hope.”

Sorry, American Jews, you don’t have a birthright

Yossi Gurvitz on

When American Jews take a position on Israel based on it calling itself a Jewish state, they are playing Israel’s game: claiming Jews are a nation, and therefore that their voice counts more than non-Jews who live in Israel, giving strength to illiberal forces in that land. American Jews should express themselves as liberals, and form coalitions of others in and out of Israel on that basis.

The Spirit of ’68 Lives On: Zionism as racism, and the network of lies

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi on

Part two in a series where Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi examines a federal complaint filed against her, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the San Francisco State University by the Lawfare Project, a self-described “legal arm for the pro-Israel community” whose executive director affirmed that its objective is to “make the enemy pay.”

Church leaders must be willing to pay a price for Palestinian solidarity

Robert Cohen on

The Church around the world has failed the Palestinian church. Year after year of soft solidarity has failed to improve Palestinian conditions. No calling out of who has the power, who remains silent. Solidarity must become stronger, and church groups must be willing to fall out with Jewish friends.

Wonder Woman is a hero only the military-industrial complex could create

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook finds contemporary parallels to interventionist wars in the hit film ‘Wonder Woman’: “this much-praised Gil Gadot vehicle–seemingly about a peace-loving superhero, Wonder Woman, from the DC Comics stable–is actually carefully purposed propaganda designed to force-feed aggressive western military intervention, dressed up as humanitarianism, to unsuspecting audiences.”

When Kafka met Orwell: Arrest by algorithm

Yossi Gurvitz on

Israeli security services responded to Palestinian knife attacks by surveilling social media and using an algorithm to predict who will commit violence. On this basis more than 400 Palestinians have been detained without having committed any criminal act.

US foreign policy in the Middle East

Katie Miranda on

The U.S. is fighting ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the Taliban around the Middle East while continuing to water their roots.

Dutch citizen files suit against Israeli commanders for attack on family home during 2014 Gaza war

Allard de Rooi on

Ismail Zeyada, a Dutch citizen of Palestinian origin, has started a civil lawsuit holding two Israeli commanders responsible for the attack at his family home in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Six of Ziada’s family members were killed in the July 2014 attack: his mother (70), three of his brothers, his sister-in-law and a 12-year old nephew. Zeyada’s attorney, well-known human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, says, “You can’t bomb a house inhabited by civilians. Deliberately killing six of them, without necessity, is considered a war crime.”

Nationwide ‘rally against Sharia law’ reflects violent surge of Islamophobia since Trump election

Roqayah Chamseddine on

On June 10, leading anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, whose founder, Brigitte Gabriel once described Muslims as being a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society”, initiated a nationwide ‘rally against Sharia law’. Most anti-Sharia protesters were met with fierce opposition, but further organized action will be required to squash the violent surge of anti-Muslim sentiment that’s grown ever more ominous since the election of Donald Trump.